Advice Requested for Dealing with my GP

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Advice Requested for Dealing with my GP
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:50:02 AM »
I have a male GP I have had on and off for many years. I recently returned to him while also seeing a new female GP in the same practice. I kept trying others, but returned to him when they either proved unsatisfactory or retired. Of course I have asked myself if I am part of this unsatisfactory state of affairs, but I am not sure. Perhaps I could have been more assertive, but I have tried to communicate well apart from tending to shut down or leave if they are abusive or do suggest something that seems unwarranted.

I started attending the female GP in the medical practice after I experienced worsening pelvic symptons but my longstanding male GP kept minimizing them and fobbing me off. It turned out, when I visited the female GP, that things are quite bad in that area and I will need a hysterectomy and repairs for advanced prolapses and I am dealing with that and it has taken a lot of patience waiting to see specialists. I have an important specialist appointment regarding this next Tuesday.

However, I also have long-standing mobility and musclo skeletal problems that have not been attended to and are getting very bad so I have difficulty & pain walking and in doing many things. I has repeatedly brought this matter up with the male GP over the years, but he has explained these issues away too, in various ways and my female GP took the view that we should deal with the pelvic problems first.

When my mobility problems recently became even worse, I decided to see the male GP again and to be very strong regarding how he treated me and pushed my issues aside. I like the female GP and she seems good, but she seemed to have a blind spot about my mobility problems even though I'd shuffle into her room using a stick. And she charges a fair bit whereas the male GP does not, seeing that I am retired.

So I went to see the male GP last Thursday , booking a long appointment & determined to get him to help and not confuse & fob me off. I did very well though it was such a challenge to deal with him. He just kept slip sliding away and saying things he used to say & that I would counter before such as all will be well if I just get surgery on my right knee and that incidents that happened year ago to my body (such as a spinal injury) were so long ago they would no longer be having an effect.   This time I hung on in there calmly and kept challenging what he said. It was like wrestling a tiger & I had never before done or needed to do this with anyone but my husband & who is very difficult and abusive like this doctor - they could almost be clones. I have never had to do such a thing with a doctor and in fact have avoided confronting them. But it seemed something finally clicked for him and he put me through a series of body tests and found there were some things I just couldn't do, like leg raises when I lie on my back. So he ended up ordering a CT scan of my lumbar spine and x rays of my ankles because, in his word, they are "frozen". I have to go back and see him tomorrow and I want to make this visit productive as I am having enormous trouble physically now & the pain can be excruciating. There is so much I couldn't do if I didn't have things to lean and pull on & I couldn't do without my stick.

I know I haven't described that make GP's abusive behaviour well but it is the sort of abusive verbal behaviour I had to learn my husband was doing and still does a lot, except for when I won't facilitate this by doing things like futilely trying to explain something so he will understand & behave better. A book by Patricia Evans called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" was an eyeopener and a Godsend years ago when I was confused about what my husband was doing and was believing him when he blamed me (although that didn't make sense or seem justified). And the GP is very similar in his modus operandi, even down to failing to see what is obvious or not listening to and responding productively to what I am saying but rather twisting or ignoring what I am saying; interrupting me; and making things about him and wanting me to talk about that (I am talking about the doctor here  :stars:.

I realize I need to drop the male GP, for many reasons, but right now I just have to work with what I have, I think, until I have my pelvic surgery & recover, hopefully, from that. So I just need to manage him well enough & not let him get to me with his covert put downs, invalidation and tricky talk.

Thank you for reading this. I'd appreciate any suggestions. I feel I really need some help. Part of me just wants to give up but I know I need to deal with all this so I'm trying. PS: I have to be careful I don't believe bad things about me that somebody's negativity and abuse is suggesting & I find affirmations and logical thinking a great help but not infallible for this.
Shall we talk?



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Re: Advice Requested for Dealing with my GP
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 01:13:32 PM »
I feel for you, mynewstart.  I'm currently looking for a new FP/IM doc because I no longer entirely trust my current one.  I switched to her some years ago after seeing a male colleague, who was indifferent to anything I said, so she was much better but now I notice she tends to dismiss a lot of what I say, if not actively denying its' truth.  The most recent was when I took issues with her hospital of affiliation.  I know from having worked in the medical field for many years that her hospital has long been known for high infection rates and understaffing.  She denied this, saying that was years ago.  Well...just recently the hospital was cited by an accrediting agency (I forget the name) as failing in those very issues and actually being a danger to its patients.  So what does she say on last visit?  Well, yes, and now those issues are going to be resolved.  But previously, according to her, they no longer existed.  And on and on.  Thing is, she's a good doc because her instincts about issues are generally correct, but I have to badger her about issues that I feel are important.  She doesn't seem to listen unless I get assertive to the point of aggression.  Yet, because she so often gets it right, I've stuck with her because I'd come to ultimately trust her...until recently.  In the last few  years, she's gotten worse, and progressively so.  I feel like I've been giving her "chances" and, as a patient, that's starting to feel a little weird.  This is my health we're discussing.  Last time I saw her I got into a heated discussion with her over the mammogram facility she's been sending me to.  She sees no issues with them because she doesn't want to (probably because they're part of her management group) and I finally got angry and said it's not like they're doing the service for free. I'm paying for it through my insurance premiums so as a consumer I have the right to certain expectations.  She didn't have an answer to that, but I think you can imagine how pissed off I was! 

So what I've done is take matters into my own hands and when I feel I need a specialist, I find one on my own.  I made sure my medical coverage will allow for this, but I also make sure those docs will take my coverage.  I get suggestions from friends about docs they've seen and what their experiences are.  Unfortunately, some docs don't like you doing that, and I've read warnings about how if you piss off your doctors too often, they'll blow you off and become lax regarding your treatment because you had the nerve to stand up for yourself and how dare you!

Like I said, I worked in the medical field for many years, and got to know a lot of docs during that time.  Many of them are good, compassionate people, but many are also practically sociopathic.  I think people who go into the medical field have to have a certain type of personality that will allow them to deal with the challenges they face, and even if they don't necessarily have that personality, they'll develop it over time as a type of self-protection.  I've seen in happen first hand with docs who came into our practice just out of residency, nice as can be, develop into total assholes within a few years.  But that doesn't mean you have to deal with it!  You don't have to be talked down to or dismissed or ignored.  They may want you to be loyal to them and subservient to them because it makes things easier--for them, but your first loyalty is to yourself. 



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Re: Advice Requested for Dealing with my GP
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2020, 01:03:04 PM »
Kris Godinez talks extensively about how people in places of power i.e. MDs tend to attract Ns.  Makes perfect sense.  And this is tough....especially when they are the top in their field and their bedside manner is appalling.  On the other hand, some of them are pretty bad but their behavior lets the get away with it. 
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.